How we work with state and local agencies
There are some different rules and processes to follow when signing an agreement for 18F to do work with a non-federal entity (like a state or a city).
To qualify, the engagement needs to be scoped to agile acquisition consulting and the funding source needs to include federal dollars. Note that it is the responsibility of the requesting entity (the state or local government) to confirm the source of the funding.
Assuming this is the case, we can begin creating an agreement. Instead of using an interagency agreement (IAA) like we do with federal partners, we use an Intergovernmental Cooperation Act (IGCA) agreement. This is comprised of several parts and there’s a specific order you should tackle them in:
The account manager (AM) that will be working on the engagement will make a copy of the IGCA Request Letter Template and populate it with the relevant details. The account manager will then route the letter (which will be known as Attachment B for agreement purposes) to the partner for review and signatures.
Normally, the letter needs to be signed by the executive of the entity (the governor of a state or the mayor of a city). The letter may be signed by another designated governmental official if there is a delegation from the chief executive, or a statute that authorizes a designated governmental official to act on behalf of the state/local executive to request services from the Federal government.
Agreement and SOW
Once the account manager receives the signed letter, they can begin drafting the IGCA agreement by making a copy of the IGCA Agreement Template.
The account manager will then edit the highlighted sections of the template, including the actual scope of work (SOW) which begins on page seven of the template. Section 3 of the SOW template includes a list of possible deliverables. The account manager will remove any items from this list that aren’t relevant to the project. If necessary, the account manager may make minor edits to the remaining items to better align with the project scope and goals. Changes made to this list of deliverables will need to be reviewed by OGC. Additionally, the account manager will need to gather the partner’s financial information and populate page 10 (also known as attachment C). Once the template is fully filled out, the account manager will ask the partner to review the draft and will work to incorporate their edits.
Agreements team review
After the partner and account manager have come to an agreement on the SOW, the account manager will then submit the SOW to the TTS Agreements team for review via the IAA request form.
The Agreements team will check over the SOW and then pass it along to GSA’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) for review and approval.
While the TTS Agreements team is routing the SOW for OGC approval, the account manager should look into whether or not an advance payment waiver is needed. The background here is that GSA’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) has a policy in place that requires all non-federal entities to pay up front for services. This means there are two possible courses of action for this step:
If the non-federal partner you’re preparing the IGCA for can pay the full amount of the engagement upfront, great! You’re set! Just let the TTS finance team know that this partner should be billed the full amount of the engagement at the outset instead of on a monthly basis.
But if the partner you’re working with can’t pay in advance for some reason (for example, a local law), you’ll need to get GSA OCFO’s permission to waive that up-front payment requirement.
For OCFO to make a decision on whether or not they will waive the advance payment requirement, they need some information. We provide this to them in the form of a decision document. The process to create that is:
- The account manager drafts a decision document using this template. Include all the necessary background information that GSA OCFO will need to make an informed decision. (An example of a completed decision document can be found here. Note: This document does not need to be reviewed by GSA OGC, though our OGC team is happy to review if there are any questions).
- Once a draft is complete, have the 18F Executive Director review. With their approval, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org at the GSA OCFO.
- If GSA OCFO signs off on the decision document and approves 18F billing the non-federal entity on a monthly cadence, the OCFO office will generate a waiver to the non-federal entity advance payment rule.
- Once the account manager receives this signed waiver from OCFO, they will need to send it to the TTS Agreements team to be included in the final IGCA package.
Once the TTS Agreements team has a complete, OGC-reviewed IGCA package (including a signed Advance Payment Waiver if necessary), they will route the package to the partner for signatures, copying the account manager. When the partner returns the signed agreement, the TTS agreements team will route the package for all necessary GSA signatures and inform the account manager when the agreement is fully executed.
The original source of information for how 18F works with state and local entities can be found here, in the PDF titled ‘18F Technical Information and Advice to State and Local Governments Pursuant to the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act (IGCA)’. Contact GSA OGC for any additional questions.